Casey Black
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Casey Black

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter




"Nashville singer Casey Black joins The Green Room"

Nashville singer Casey Black talks about his journey to finding his own voice, his famous father and getting to know Mick Flannery. - NewsTalk - The Green Room

"Interview: Casey Black – “Songs are a perfect way of expressing conflict and trouble without perturbing anybody”"

Nashville-native singer/songwriter, Casey Black is set to support Irish artist Mick Flannery on a little Irish tour this week, as well as playing a few of his own headline shows around the country.

We caught up with Casey to chat about his music career which was ignited quite early on in his life…

You started the art of songwriting at a very young age. Talk to me a bit about that because you must feel you have so much experience in it at this stage?

Yeah, I wrote my first song when I was 12. My dad is a songwriter so that’s probably why I did it – it seemed like the natural thing people do. And then I just kept writing them. I didn’t know how to play guitar or anything so my dad used to write chords for me on index cards and I’d try switch between them. So, my first songs were very simple, like “here’s a chord change for the chorus – surprise!”. Hopefully they became a little more complex after that!

But yeah, after I wrote my first song, it was on. I didn’t have any ambition really. I did think I was cool for writing songs, but I wanted to play baseball. But a few years later was when I started experiencing what would later be diagnosed as clinical depression and the songwriting was becoming an outlet for things. I’m a big people pleaser and I don’t like conflict – well as a kid, now I’m trying to piss off more people! But I didn’t want to stir anything and expressing emotions stir things up so I just didn’t do that in day to day life. Songs are a perfect way of expressing conflict and trouble without perturbing anybody ’cause it’s 3:30 long, it’s got this pretty melody, so there’s nothing wrong!

As you said, your dad was a songwriter. Do you think if that hadn’t been the case, you still would have went into music eventually?

That would be hard to answer. But, I think I might have because there was another experience when I was 13 or 14, sitting in the cafeteria and my friends were talking about this band that they had and I was like “What!? You have a band!?”. And I asked if they needed a singer, even though I’d never really sang. And they said their other singer just quit and I was like “Who are these guys that are in sixth grade and they’ve already had a singer quit!?”. So I went home and learned ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and sang them and got into the band. So, singing in front of them felt stupid without a guitar or anything so I started putting a guitar on just to feel cool but I didn’t know how to play it! That’s when I started to learn how to play.

So, I think if my dad hadn’t have been a songwriter, he wouldn’t have moved to Nashville, so I never would have met those friends. So actually, the answer to your question is no I would not be a songwriter!

Your most recent record ‘Lay You In The Loam’ came out last Summer. What was the reaction like to that?

It was good enough. We released it on a small independent label and we did a small radio campaign, college stations in the US, and that was about it. And the reaction there was good, but I wasn’t in a position to tour it and they didn’t have the money to release it super widely so we didn’t get a tonne of major press on it, we got very minor press. You know, blogs that misspelled things and get the name of the record wrong and stuff! But the people seemed to like it, and here in Ireland I’ve got a lot of great response on it.

Yeah, ’cause the reason you’re actually here is both to play some gigs supporting Mick Flannery, but also to do some headline shows yourself. How did you come in contact with Mick?

Yeah I have four shows myself. Myself and Mick have a mutual friend, Nial Connolly who’s from Cork but lives in New York, so when I lived in New York I heard Niall playing a show and introduced myself so we became great friends. And eventually I moved to Nashville and Mick was visiting Nashville to play some shows and Niall introduced us, so we hung out. We tried to write a song together but it didn’t go well.

You’ve support him before, right?

Yeah, this is my third tour with him.

Your headline gigs this trip – you’re playing quite cool venues. Like, Whelans is brilliant. Are you expecting a good turnout?

I hope for a big turnout! I’ve played in Dublins three times now so I haven’t been here a tonne but the last time was at Whelans co-headlining with Mick, and the response was very good there so I’m hoping to see all those people again. It was a packed room, but you never know. I might sell the whole joint out. They may have to shut the city down!

So, what’s your rough plans for the next year or so?

After this tour, I’ll go home and write the last quarter of the next record. Hopefully that will be recorded in the late Summer and I hope to get back here sometime before the release of that record. Then come back hard with the new record!

Thanks a million for that interview.

Thank you! - Fortitude Magazine

"Review: Casey Black with Mick Flannery"

There was something on the radio yesterday about symmetry.

Apparently flowers use their symmetrical patterns to attract insects.

Mick Flannery was playing back-up to his friend Casey Black in Coughlan’s last night. He wasn’t so much performing songs from his new album By the rule as re-living them in front of us (Ireland’s number 1 album this week as we were later informed by Casey). The intimate setting allowed access to every twitch, every rough/smooth melody, every fingerpick.

In among the easy banter, which was lapped up by the 50-odd souls, one anecdote stood out. It was about his recent time living in Berlin, an observational piece about drugs in the context of the city gentrifying itself. It was a raw, personal song and I found myself imagining it in the hands of Nick Cave (another one-time Berliner) given the full Bad Seeds treatment, with its compelling stalking blues bassline from his metronomic left hand.

Of course the earthily accessible, soulful quality of the set was no surprise, every ounce of feeling wrung from barely moving lips. More than anything though it was obvious how wonderfully symmetrical a songwriter he is, themes and rhymes and harmonies folding over themselves as they embed pleasurably in your cortex.
As the crowd settled again – mature in age, let’s say, and containing more women than men – Nashville-native Casey Black took the mike and introduced himself with ‘Trouble’, a gut-wrenching account of an abortive suicide attempt complete with filled bath and blade on wrist. “That’s the way to win them over” he joked but we were right there with him. It set the tone for a series of heartfelt, emotionally gripping story songs, taking in relationships – a lot – and existential meditations on life, with current album Lay you in the loam featured heavily.

‘Happiness’, for example, with more than a hint of Jay Farrar about it (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt), a minted alt country sound, like Bruce Springsteen on a smaller scale, more intimate. Suiting Coughlan’s down to the ground once again, in other words.

Or the crashing impact of ‘Museum made of glass’.

Story songs. And with a genuine literary depth. Like the wonderfully direct life-cycle imagery of ‘Flowers’. Flowers at my birth, flowers at my funeral. Symmetry, you might say.
Heartfelt songwriting, earnest even and for that reason regularly close to the bone. Speaking of that, Black produced ‘The Sarge’, the memorable diary of an Iraqi veteran’s brain injury, expressed in devastating plain language.

All of this was delivered via his impressive vocal range, from a low growl to a high blues wail. Both were present in my own standout moment of the gig, the rousing ‘Fire Fire Fire Fire’ from the current album, which was preceded by an arresting therapy anecdote – “When I was 21, my therapist asked me why everyone was allowed to be angry except me.” As introductions go, I don’t think I’ve heard better.

Later Mick was back for a few duets. Two men, two acoustic guitars.The authentic blue-collar feel to the songwriting (fittingly, Black was in fact wearing a blue shirt) was given full vent with Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Youngstown’ from The ghost of Tom Joad, a historical war epic spanning the American Civil War to Vietnam, but with a resonating smalltown payoff.

A perfect end to a night all about songwriters.

And symmetry. -

"Food Flavored Video: Fire Fire Fire Fire by Casey Black"

Casey Black’s song “Fire Fire Fire Fire” has been on my detecter for some time. But it kept getting pushed to the back burner. Even as more and more news came my way about his music, I kept finding ways to put it off. Today I am forcing myself to get this out there. The theme of the video is one of fire for obvious reasons. So it is loaded with food imagery. These include hamburgers on a grill, a birthday cake overloaded with candles and marshmallows on a stick.

“Fire Fire Fire Fire” appears on Casey’s fourth studio album Lay You In The Loam which is available now via CatBeach Music. It features 9 additional original songs.

Pair the fire in this song with a dish that is a bit of a twist on an old camping favorite. Instead of just roasting marshmallows and chocolate for a S’MORES, liven it up a a little by adding bananas and strawberries. For actual measurements, go here.

- Write Click Cook Listen

"The Underground: Casey Black's "From The Loam And Other Places"""

From the Loam and Other Places is the most recent EP from Nashville-born singer-songwriter Casey Black, featuring both original tracks and several songs from his previous album, Lay You in the Loam. While only five songs long, each track on From the Loam and Other Places is perfectly individualised, and has a flawless flow, even incorporating previous material seamlessly.

The EP has an earnest quality that permeates throughout, albeit in different ways. “Every Time I See a Plane” is a more introspective and nostalgic yarn, where Black hits some of his highest notes (and to me feels his most reminiscent of The Eel's E). In contrast, the album also maintains its heart when it wanders away from Black himself, as evidenced by the penultimate track”The Sarge”, which solemnly recounts the life and sufferings of one Sargent Hokum who, due to damage to the hippocampus, has lost his ability to create new memories. While not being particularly sombre in tone (the song itself is sung from the perspective of Sgt. Hokum, who seems to be braving his condition well), it carries with it an air of respect for the man's loss, with lines like “my brother says he's sees me every single weekend that he can” being both sobering and revealing.
However, this is not to say the album is entirely sentiment - “Dig Together” does a good job of altering the pace of From the Loam... by being fun, the teeniest bit goofy and wonderfully catchy. Even the angry and mournful opening track, “Fire Fire Fire Fire, never wallows, and instead is a powerful and memorable gut=punch. While I can't say that From the Loam... is completely indicative of the quality of Lay You in the Loam, I can say that on its own it makes for a captivating and enjoyable listen. - Prefix Magazine

"Roots Song of the Week: Casey Black- “Flowers”"

I’m never sure from where or when the inspiration for my listening will make itself known. Sometimes, I’ll hear of a new release and be inspired to explore albums that have sat on the shelves for much too long: most recently, that is how I came to listen to three Darden Smith albums.

Other times, I’ll hear an artist mentioned in a conversation, and head to the shelves: earlier this month, when Gillian Welch was mentioned by friends, I went and dusted off Revival and The Harrow and the Harvest.

A well-placed song within a television production can send me off on a journey, as can a song played on the radio or a mention found on the web. Occasionally, a mention in a book or a magazine will get me searching the web or my collection for a piece of music: Marshall Chapman’s excellent Blaze of Glory made its way to mind in that manner.

Today I was inspired to delve into finding out more about Casey Black while listening to WDVX’s Blue Plate Special. This morning, Black did a little set on that program from the Knoxville Visitor Center, on the corners of Gay Street and Summit Hill Drive.

Black is a songwriter from Nashville, and the fact that he is on his fourth album and I am just discovering him doesn’t make me feel too bad- the longer I write about music, the more I realize that no one can hear it all at the same time; each community has its songwriting and singing treasure, and Black happens to be one of those hailing from Lieper’s Fork.

This week’s Roots Song of the Week is “Flowers,” a track off of Casey’s recent album Lay You in the Loam. The video to which I am linking today is on Casey’s homepage, and begins with a couple minutes of Casey discussing his music and inspiration; interestingly, to me, he mentions ‘floorboards’ something I’ve been thinking of as a literary allusion quite a bit recently. Floorboards not only support our steps, but can hide secrets within our homes. Anyhow, the song “Flowers” is a wee masterpiece of vignettes plainly presented, held together by the type of straightforward honesty of perspective that is essential to great songwriting.

With the addition of Casey, the Blacks are starting to catch up to Williamses on my shelves- Amy, Mary, Jeff, and Frank, as well as Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Black House, Black Oak Arkansas, Black 47, and others.

Additional clips from Black are scattered throughout the YouTube, and several of the songs I’ve played this morning impressed me. No surprise, as Casey Black seems to be poised to receive additional attention within the Americana songwriting/singer world. “Fire Fire Fire Fire” and “Museum Made of Glass,” also from Lay You In the Loam, are similarly engaging. By the way, “Museum Made of Grass” would make a terrific song, I think: take it away, John Wort Hannam and Mark Erelli.

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald - Fervor Coulee - roots music opinion

"Music Monday - Casey Black"

There isn’t a thing not to love about Casey Black‘s Springsteen-esque gravely voice. Read his official bio and his songwriting brilliance makes even more sense. His songs have a way of getting better and better as they build, and the more you listen to them. The one below is a perfect example of this. - Back Down South

"Casey Black - Lay You In The Loam"

It’s always wonderful to hear an artist lay himself bare on an album. Too often, singers hide behind production to convey a feeling or get their message across. Casey Black? He writes, sings and performs from the depths of his everything.

From the opening guitar throb of Fire, Fire, Fire to the lovely final strum of Flowers, Casey Black’s latest album is a triumph of pure emotion and expert songwriting. Framed with simple arrangements and flourished with evocative lyrics, Lay You in the Loam isn’t just the finest album the Big City Folk alumnus has produced in his extensive career. It’s a wonderful window into the soul of a true artist.

Luckily, Black doesn’t stay mired in the emotional depths for the entire record. Tracks like the sultry fun of Dig Together and the personally bracing The Idiot shows growth and range from the gravelly voiced Nashville born singer. Other standout tracks include the play on words of I’ve Spent My Whole Life, the traditional guitar picker Museum Made of Glass and the deceptively mournful Happiness.

If you give a hoot about good music, folk or otherwise, give Casey Black’s latest effort a good honest spin. Guaranteed to be one of your surprise favorites of 2013.

Score – 5 Stars - The Surreality Project

"Casey Black Starts a Fire at Hotel Cafe"

June 28, 2013---Hollywood Ca--Casey Black played Hotel Cafe for his record release party and led off the night with his song "Fire Fire Fire Fire" and deep Springsteen style voice that will entrance you. Just before he sang the melodious song Black commented, "First time I played the Hotel Cafe... the only people here were my girlfriend and her parents. It was horrible. This is a song that answers all of life's questions. He's right. Sometimes you can't make things all right, it can feel like you were born in the wrong time and falling in love makes things messy. "Fire Fire Fire Fire" is ready to start a fire which is exactly what we imagine the artist would like to do with the release of his "Lay You In The Loam" album.
As Casey Black proceeded to play his album track by track in the same order as the songs appear on the album, he told a funny story about when his wife sent him off to LA to make the album telling him to get serious about his music career. Black said he asked his friend for advice and his friend told him to, "stop being a f*cking loser." The crowd laughed. Then the singer songwriter sang a beautiful song about everything changing and spending his whole life thinking about his whole life.
"I've Spent My Whole Life" is a highlight on the album along with "Fire Fire Fire Fire" and "Museum Made of Glass." Casey Black's music and voice in a live performance is exactly what you hear recorded and 100% worth your time to get out and enjoy. His show is full of dark dry humor commentary both about the nature of his music and his life that creates a bit of lighter mood amidst some of his serious topics and slower dramatic songs with a country twang. - Life Of A Rock Star

"Black Hits All The Right Notes."

‘Lay You in the Loam'

Casey Black (Catbeach Music)


The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in the Black family. Casey Black, the son of Hall of Fame songwriter Charlie Black, has emerged as a stellar singer/songwriter in his own right and he's never been better than on latest album “Lay You in the Loam.” Armed with a compelling gravel-tinged voice and an Ivy League degree from Columbia University, the younger Black hits all the right notes on the smart, thought-provoking 10-track release. Opener “Fire Fire Fire Fire” reaches out and grabs you, and Black maintains his hold with “Museum Made of Glass,” “The Idiot,” “Son,” “Trouble” and “Happiness.” Good stuff. - Trib Daily

"Casey Black / Fire Fire Fire Fire"

As summer creeps closer, and the hundred degree days make there way into the 5 day forecasts, I get in a ravenous country music mood – something about the windows rolled down and Nashville’s best plucking out through my car’s stereo makes for good and sweaty driving.

Casey Black’s Lay You in the Loam will be one of those heavily rotated records this summer – his a terrific songwriter with a gravely voice that should belong to a man much older than him. This isn’t by any means his first effort either, he’s a seasoned musician even at his young age.

“Fire Fire Fire Fire” is the first single from the upcoming album that is due out June 20th – give it a listen, it’s definitely one of his best yet. And ladies, try not to swoon too hard at the sight of him. Although I’m sure he’s used to it, dammit. - Yankee Calling


Released July 18, 2013 via CatBeach Music
10 Tracks
Charting nationwide in College Radio with peak position at 11 and climbing on WXCU Columbus Ohio.

Singles::both receiving radio play
Fire Fire Fire Fire
Dig Together (featuring Inara George of Bird and the Bee)

Released May 24, 2011
11 Tracks

Released July 15, 2008
12 Tracks

The Truth: featured on Army Wives

April 30, 2004

The record was spun on LA's famous KCRW by Tricia Halloran, who placed the record 8th on her list of 2005's Top 50 Records.



As Casey reflects, he was "born and raised in Nashville, then born and raised in Los Angeles, then killed and reborn in New York City, before being reincarnated in Nashville." Casey's beginnings as a songwriter were shaped by his father, Charlie Black, an NSAI Hall of Fame country-songwriter, who penned many #1 hit songs. Endowed there with a dark lyrical particularity, as well as a respect and knack for the craft, Casey signed with EMI Music Publishing Nashville at 19 years old, where he wrote with some of the Row's greatest writers, and according to Casey, got "all the cocky, prima-donna, young-artist stuff beaten out of me by people who actually knew how to write songs." While his craft improved, his muse became aloof during his three years at EMI, and so, in order to "be as poor and lost as other people my age–to have something true to write about," Casey moved to Los Angeles.
In the next five years he wrote and recorded two records–‘Vacations’, and ‘The Glass is Half’–the first of which was placed on KCRW Los Angeles deejay Tricia Halloran's top 10 records of 2005; the second having songs placed on ABC's show Greek, and Lifetime's Army Wives. He also cut his live-show teeth, playing some of LA's great singer-songwriter venues, like the House of Blues and Hotel Cafe.

In 2008, in order to finish his degree at Columbia University, Casey moved again, this time to New York, and after a school-induced music hiatus, he happened upon a show featuring Niall Connolly, the Irish-born figurehead of Brooklyn's Big City Folk scene. Inspired by the literary and honest approach to songwriting of the scene's players, he threw himself back into music and made his third record, It Shapes Me As It Goes, before playing shows in New England, the South, LA and Ireland.

Drawing a close to a circular decade, Casey recently returned to Tennessee, where he lives with his wife in a small country house outside of Nashville. Casey's fourth studio album, 'Lay You In The Loam,' releases on June 18, 2013 through the newly launched, CatBeach Music. ‘Loam’ features 10 new original songs and was recorded and produced by Emmy-award winning songwriter/producer Bobby Hartry at CatBeach Studios in Los Angeles.
‘Lay You In The Loam’ is something of a coming of age story - exploring themes of life, death and rebirth…’Like loam, there is grit, decay and darkness, but also fertility, and the struggle to grow up, or push deeper.’ ’The Loam’ spans between the earthy blend of Casey’s baritone voice and acoustic guitar accompanied by a beautiful and haunting pedal steel performance by Greg Leisz on ‘Smoke In My Eyes,’ to quirky and otherworldly synth and omnichord textures, featuring the vocals of Bird and the Bee’s Inara George on the song “Dig Together” to the spring reverb drenched and vocal layered textures found in “Son”, which is both moving and unsettling when paired with a regretful and poignant lyric.

The first single from Loam, “Fire Fire Fire Fire,” fuses an earnest and steely eyed monologue, reminiscent of Steve Earle, with an unrelenting pulse that demands your full attention. Instrumentally, the track builds into a storm that develops sonically into a full gale force.

To complement Casey’s masterful songwriting, some of LA’s finest musicians were enlisted for this project, including Aaron Sterling on drums (John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Glen Campbell), Jonathan Ahrens on bass (Jewel, Jason Mraz), and Greg Liesz on pedal steel (Ray LaMontagne, Wilco, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Iver).
Casey’s ‘Lay You In The Loam’ was released June 18, 2013 via CatBeach Music.

Band Members